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Betta requirements

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Betta requirements

Postby NativeNuYorker » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:57 pm

Are filters and heaters absolutely required for Betta's? I realize now the staff at the pet stores are not necessarily knowledgeable. The few that I have consulted claim that it's not necessary for Betta's to have heaters and that they actually do not like filters. They suggest weekly 100% water changes, which I have been doing. When I read these forums though, very experienced Betta owners state that Betta's need the same care as tropical fish. What's actually true?
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Re: Betta requirements

Postby justmelsbettas » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:00 pm

Hi, even among experienced breeders you will find varied opinion on what a bettas really needs. I'm not experienced myself. I probably got my first betta around 6 months ago, but he quickly multiplied. I've done a lot of research to try and give all my bettas the best care I can. I've found the it's generally advised to have not less then 2.5 gallon per betta, they DO need a heater and to be kept at a steady temp between 78°-82°, they also need a lid or to have the water kept below the edge of the tank to prevent jumping.

Your tank size and if it has a filter or not would determine how often you needed to do water changes. Advise on this varies a lot too, but what I've found suggests anything smaller then 10 gallons does not need a filter but needs 2-3 water changes a week (testing water parameters would help you decide how often it really needs changed). A filter is not needed, but it can help keep the tank cleaner. A sponge filter is often suggested for betta fish. They do not cause a strong current, but still help keep things clean. You'll find that some bettas actually enjoy their regular filters & the current though. You do have to be careful because some filters can suck a bettas fins in and hurt them.

That is the most common suggestions I've ran across. Advice on the heater doesn't change, tank size can change from suggestions of 1 gallon to 10 gallons per betta, you'll get different opinions of if a filter or what kind is needed, and the frequency of what changes can be debated too.
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Re: Betta requirements

Postby Harmony99 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:29 pm

I had my male bettas (seperately of course) in a 2.5 gallon tank. I had a heater and a filter in it. They seemed to like the filter. My third would swim up to the filter output and just 'ride the wave'. I watched him do that for over an hour. Now I will agree that most do not like a strong current. But a gentle flow (enough to move the water some) is usually tolerated well.
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Re: Betta requirements

Postby M4M » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:33 am

to expand on Justmel's response a wee bit:

The smallest size that I would recommend for an adult is 1.5 gallons. The only reason I would mention this (because 2.5's are awesome and they get a lot more space), is because some fish get overwhelmed easily in "large" spaces. It reminds me of reverse claustrophobia, but some males will hide and won't eat, or tail bite if there's "too much" room.

Heaters are helpful if the room is below 78 during the day (a small and steady temp drop at night occurs in nature, so as long as it's within a few degrees, your fish will be fine), or if you have a sick betta, or one who feels cold easily. If those are the case, I would suggest a nice thermostat heater, Hydor makes one for 2-10 gallons, and I adore it!

Filters are great, what KIND of filter you could use depends on your individual fish. Some males with really heavy finnage will need a sponge filter, or a waterfall filter with some sort of baffle to break up the filter's current so he's not struggling against it all day. Shorter finned bettas can stand a bit more current, and may even enjoy it (like Harmony99 mentioned)!

I'm wishing you the best of luck in your adventures in Betta Keeping!
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Re: Betta requirements

Postby admin » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:56 pm

Yes, Betta can live in bowls without a heater or a filter but, ultimately they are best for the long-term health of your fish.

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Re: Betta requirements

Postby Sivan » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:05 am

Keep in mind that filters are useless unless you never turn them off (aside from water changing times) and serve only to help cycle the water. When I say cycle, I am referring to the nitrogen cycle. It is better to have a fully cycled tank than a non-cycled tank, or even a partially cycled tank, because anything other than a cycled tank can have chemical spikes that can harm your fish friend. Naturally occurring ammonia is one of the worst chemicals to have spike in your water because it can burn and poison your fish. Unless you test your water, you will not know what chemicals are in it or if your cycle is complete.

That being said, it is not recommended that you cycle anything less than a 5-gallon tank. Once you cycle, you do not need to do 100% water changes, only a 50% water change once a week for most tank sizes. Anything less than a 5-gallon is possible to cycle but very difficult and should not be done with the fish in the water, due to the higher concentration of toxic, invisible, chemicals present in the water during the cycling process.
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Re: Betta requirements

Postby lissienen » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:37 pm

Since cycling has been covered pretty thoroughly up above I'm just going to toss in my view on heating since I've gone both ways and come out with a firm opinion (but I mean, it's all about personal opinion really, in the end)

I say that yes, betta's require a heater, and bigger tanks are better for that because it can be harder to keep tanks smaller than 2.5 (or optimally 5) consistently heated without it fluctuating too badly unless you get a really good heater (I had good luck with the Marina Submersible 10W it heats the water up either 3 or 5 degrees warmer than the room, which is better than nothing and not in too much danger of overheating except in summer). My betta's always seemed to thrive just that bit more when they were in warmer water (78 - 82) and their colors looked brighter too.
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